The New York Times announced that it would be relocating its Asia Digital News Department from Hong Kong to Seoul next year. The decision has been made amid concerns that Hong Kong’s National Security Law passed in China would restrict free press activities and undermine journalism.
“Hong Kong has served for decades as the Asian headquarters for English-language news outlets, but the national security law has created uncertainty about the city’s prospects as the hub for journalism in Asia. Some Times employees have faced challenges in securing work permits, so the Times editors determined they needed an additional base of operations in the region,” reported the TImes on its website on Tuesday. The new security law bans news reports that can undermine national security, raising concerns on tightened censorship.
Reportedly, around one third of the Hong Kong workforce will be relocating to Seoul. The NYT considered Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo as candidates but has chosen Seoul for its friendliness to foreign business and its central role in several major Asian news stories. The print production team for The New York Times International Edition and its staff members will remain in Hong Kong, and advertising and marketing staff are also expected to stay.